September 16th, 2010

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New England Roadtrip, July 12, part 4: Salerno's, Dutch Kitchen

We stopped for dinner at Salerno's in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, because I was curious to sample Old Forge pizza.

Service was horribly slow. It took us a long time to get menus, a long time before our order was taken, and a long time before our food was provided. We whiled away the time chatting with the folks at the next table, who were gathered to celebrate a nonagenarian's birthday.

We ordered the stuffed white pizza with broccoli. Here's what's good about it: the crust was light and crisp and bit easily; if your stated task is "I want to eat a whole lot of gooey cheese with one hand", then this crust is absolutely the perfect bread for the job.
Here's what's bad: the cheese was a mixture of mozzarella and American, and it had a lot of that unpleasant cloying quality that American cheese has at its worst.
I'm glad to have tried it, and I respect it for how perfectly suited the bread is for its task, but I would think twice before ordering this again.
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We stopped at the Dutch Kitchen in Frackville for a token dessert, because it is so convenient to the interstate. Lori ordered a piece of coconut cream pie, which was excellent:
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I ordered the peach pie. Most of it was pretty good, but some pieces of peach were rather hard and tasteless. I've had far better pie at the Dutch Kitchen.
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We had accumulated enough delay on the drive (we got out from Webs later than intended, Salerno's service was glacial, we were slowed by very heavy rain on the interstate) that we didn't feel able to make it all the way home safely. We stopped at Breezewood, Town of Motels for the night, had an indifferent breakfast, and made the drive into Pittsburgh without me being too late for work.
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New England Roadtrip: wrapup and pointless statistics

9 days on the road.
29 Roadfood-listed places visited.
10 ice cream stops (plus another if you count Lori's gelato). 3 farm stands.
5 places with "Diner" in the name. 5 places with metal walls. 4 places in the intersection of those two sets.

Foods I'd never tried before:
Cheerwine
Mealie from Charlies Pool Room.
Ichi yaki chicken
Girlsenberry ice cream
Maple soda
Dandelion/burdock soda
Ice cider
Potato bacon pancake
Lobster roll
Indian pudding
Whole-belly clams
Squash pie
Gingersnap molasses ice cream
Grape nut with raisin ice cream
Moxie
Loukaniko sausage
Mee Siem au Poulet
Ginger ice cream
Johnnycakes
Broth clam chowder
Doughnut bread pudding
Old Forge pizza

Outstanding restaurant visits which I yearn to repeat:
Herrell's
Dorset Inn (twice)
Maine Diner
Rancatore's
Dottie's Diner
Dr. Mike's

Places that weren't listed in Roadfood that I'd recommend for Roadfood consideration:
Scotty's American Grill at Eddie's Drive-In
Herrell's in Northampton (another Herrell's is listed in Roadfood)
Libby's Italian Cookies

Random conclusions and observations:
• I don't know what music is right for driving through Vermont in the way that listening to bluegrass just feels right for driving through Kentucky. Country music feels a little off; sea chanties might be suitable for Maine and some other states in New England, but not for states without coastline.
• I like seafood about as much as I like, say, chicken. But even in New England, seafood costs substantially more than chicken.
• The New England accent is prominent in a way that the Pittsburgh accent is not.
• Route 1 is not an effective way to see ocean views while driving.
• I'm not good at noticing distinctions in hot dogs or ice cream.

And now I'm off to New Mexico. (This year has involved a lot of trips to places named "New Whatever". New Orleans, New England, and two trips to New Mexico.)